15 Maps That Show How Americans Use Drugs

Illicit drugs are most popular on the West Coast, Colorado, and the Northeast according to 2010-2011 surveys from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Other regions of the country have their own vices, too, as the South has the most smokers and the Midwest has the most binge drinkers.

We’ve mapped the data (which can be seen in numerical form here) to identify these and other trends in U.S. drug use.

Below is a map of illicit drug use by state, with the highest rates found in the West, Northeast, and Colorado. Vermont is the druggiest state, with 15.29% saying they have used illicit drugs in the past month compared to only 4.29% in Utah.

Marijuana use follows a similar pattern. Vermont takes the lead again with 13.12% using in the past month.

Marijuana is even more popular among Vermont teenagers, 14.04% of whom have smoked in the past month.

Many of the states that smoke the most marijuana have the lowest perception of risk. Nealy half (41.82%) of people in Mississippi think smoking weed is a huge risk.

Washington D.C. takes the lead for coke use, with 3.04 per cent of residents using in the past year. Other users tend to come from the West, Northeast, and Colorado.

Illegal pain pill use is even more widespread than cocaine. Oregon takes the lead here, with 6.37% of residents making nonmedical use of pain relievers in the past year. Iowa had the lowest rate at 3.62%.

Utah is a stark outlier when it comes to alcohol use, holding up the Mormon stereotype. The state also has some of the strictest alcohol laws in the country. The state with the highest rate of drinkers is Massachusetts, where 63% of residents over the age of 12 consumed alcohol in the past month.

North Dakota and South Dakota rank low compared to other states for drug use, but binge drinking is especially common there.

The part of the country that binge drinks the most also has the lowest perception of risk associated with drinking.

Tobacco use is most common in southern states. West Virginia has the highest tobacco use, with 38.46% of residents using in the past month.

The same goes for cigarettes.

Awareness of the risks associated with smoking is pretty high overall, especially in California, New York, and Florida.

Alcohol abuse and addiction is most common in the western half of the country, with the exception of Utah.

Illicit drug abuse and addiction is also most common in the West, with Vermont also ranking high.

Illicit drug addiction among teenagers is fairly low overall. Every state falls between 2% and 3.6%, with New Mexico, Arizona, and New England ranking higher than other states.

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